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Former King’s pupil Eleanor Clark is one of just five short-listed writers in this year’s BBC Young Writers’ Competition, run in conjunction with the University of Cambridge and First Story.

Now in its fifth year, the Young Writers’ Competition invites entries from writers aged 14-18 from across the UK, attracting competition from among the very best young writing talents, who submitted a story of up to 1000 words.

Commenting on Eleanor’s success at making it to the top five, our Head of English, Toby Smith, said “Eleanor was already a keen writer when she joined King’s, and she has taken every opportunity to develop her craft, writing extensively beyond the classroom. She produced sophisticated and ambitious responses to challenging creative writing assignments, and has developed an increasingly subtle style, leading to success in local competitions, and now in the biggest of them all. When Eleanor showed me a draft of Insula earlier in the year, I could see it had huge potential as a very compelling short story. Eleanor takes on advice with great intelligence and independence, and she crafted her entry alongside working towards 11 grades 9/A* at GCSE. For a work by a writer of her age it shows considerable maturity and I always thought it would impress, but for her to receive such recognition is absolutely wonderful news and a real indication of what she has ahead of her.”

Judging the shortlisted entries were Anthony Cartwright, author of five novels, including The Cut, recently commissioned in response to the Brexit vote as part of the Peirene Now! series, Katie Thistleton, a live presenter on CBBC and presenter of BBC Radio 1’s Life Hacks, Kiran Millwood Hargraves, author of best-selling adventure stories for children, Patrice Lawrence, writer of short stories, and winner of the Waterstones Prize for Older Fiction, and Testament, a writer, rapper and world record-breaking human beatboxer.